Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"The Problem of Describing Trees" by Robert Hass

"Golden Aspen" Photo by Alison Brady



The aspen glitters in the wind
And that delights us.

The leaf flutters, turning,
Because that motion in the heat of August
Protects its cells from drying out. Likewise the leaf
Of the cottonwood.

The gene pool threw up a wobbly stem
And the tree danced. No.
The tree capitalized.
No. There are limits to saying,
In language, what the tree did.

It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us.

Dance with me, dancer. Oh, I will.

Mountains, sky,
The aspen doing something in the wind.



"The Problem of Describing Trees" by Robert Hass, from Time and Materials. © Ecco, 2008. 

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